Internet Browser Brave Completes $35-million ICO

Startup internet browser Brave has today completed a remarkable ICO, raising $35 million in under 30 seconds.

The company, which was founded by Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, launched its Basic Attention Token (BAT), an ethereum-driven token designed to represent exchanges of value online, including between advertisers and publishers, with investors quick to snap up their share.

One investor even opted for 20,000ETH, equivalent to $4.7 million in a single investment in the coins, which were created to specifically monetize engagement online.

It is the latest ICO to attract attention from early investors, and stands out for its scale and speed, with blocks sold out less than 30 seconds after going on sale.

While the ICO was bought up by only 130 investors, just five addresses control half of the total supply. This has already drawn criticism in some quarters, with many who were interested in investing ultimately unable to do so.

According to Eich, the ICO was the first step on their journey to changing the shape of the internet’s advertising models.

"We are pleased with the sale, and we're looking forward to disrupting digital advertising and building a user-centric platform for supporting the Web."

While the Brave ICO has been notable in a number of respects, it is far from the first of its kind, with companies increasingly turning to blockchain tokens as a means of raising capital.

Tokens are issued in lieu of shares, in a form of crowdfunding that locks in value through the blockchain. In turn, the company raises capital against the tokens, which generates the growth for investors to yield a return.

Without the same regulatory oversight as traditional share offerings, it is expected that this ICO will attract some attention from regulators.

However, for the time being, it sets the record for the quickest ICO to date, a record Brave will no doubt be keen to celebrate.

It remains to be seen whether Eich’s Basic Attention Token has long-term potential. With the funding secured, the company now has the means to aim to take its browser to a mainstream audience.